Buffyverse Wiki
Advertisement
Buffyverse Wiki

"The Magic Bullet" is the nineteenth episode of the fourth season of Angel and the eighty-fifth episode in the series. Written and directed by Jeffrey Bell, it was originally broadcast on April 16, 2003, on The WB network.

Synopsis[]

With Angel and the others under Jasmine's extraordinarily divine power, Fred's life is in danger and she goes on the run. After discovering the secret to breaking Jasmine's spell over the nation's citizens, Fred must find a way to save the others before she's captured and killed.[1]

Summary[]

Everyone in Los Angeles is happy and cheerful. Pedestrians and drivers travel through the city harmoniously until Fred runs into a car at an intersection. She's pursued by Wesley and Gunn, but Fred eludes them by hiding out in a sewer under a shopping center.

Back at the Hyperion Hotel, Lorne has to turn away people who have come to the hotel to see Jasmine. She makes time to talk to many of them, and Angel asks how Jasmine always knows exactly what to say. She tells him that she looks into their hearts, though sometimes what they need is right on their faces. She then tells a man in Spanish that his mustache provides him with great strength and dignity. Wesley and Gunn return with the news that Fred has escaped. Connor wants to kill her, but Wesley reminds him that Jasmine wants her alive. Jasmine invites a couple of people to go accompany her upstairs, while Wesley and Gunn admit to wishing she would pick them.

Fred goes to Magic Bullet Books, where she visited three days earlier to read up on mass hypnosis. She is now looking for information on mind control. Ted, the shopkeeper explains that he used to be obsessed with mind control, and while he still believes in it, he no longer worries over it. Ted pulls open a drawer with a gun and shows Fred a book titled Making Mind Control Work for You. He gives Fred the book, and believes she is trying to get the government to learn about Jasmine's love.

Connor and Angel attempt to track Fred through the sewers. Angel learns that Connor has been tracking people since he was a child; Holtz would tie him to a tree and run away, expecting Connor to free himself and find him. Angel is shocked that Holtz would abandon Connor in that manner, but Connor considers it beneficial because he learned to track. Angel and Connor both suddenly close their eyes, receiving a message that Jasmine wants them back at the Hyperion.

Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne are upstairs in Jasmine's room, assisting her in expanding her media empire. Connor and Angel arrive, confused as to how they were able to receive her message to return to the hotel. Jasmine explains that everyone is connected by love, and she wants to test that connection to see if they can find Fred. Everyone holds hands as Jasmine tells them to picture Fred and concentrate on finding her.

Fred checks into a motel, where people around her begin to stop and stare. Fred takes off running, and a man jumps into his car to pursue her. Suddenly, he crashes into another car, which causes an explosion. The man who is on fire stumbles toward Fred, seemingly unfazed by the flames. As she lies on the ground in shock, he calls out her name and tells her not to be afraid.

Jasmine’s hand begins to smoke, and Angel catches her before she can fall to the floor. She explains that she saw Fred, and all of her followers now know who Fred is and what she looks like — she has nowhere to run or hide. In the meantime, the Angel Investigations team begin to assist the various visitors at the hotel, aided by the psychic powers Jasmine has connected them to.

Meanwhile, Fred walks down the side of a winding road. She watches warily as a car passes her by, then screeches to a halt. She jumps off the road, tumbles down an embankment, and crashes through the roof of a small cave. Fred falls on top of a small, green demon and attempts to strike the creature with a hatchet until he assures her that he's harmless.

Back at the Hyperion, Wesley is giving a presentation to the crowd that has gathered in the lobby about an insidious evil among them: Fred. He passes the podium to Lorne, who gives the "hourly Jasmine report." He then announces a new surprise: open mic night, an opportunity for everyone to pay their respects to Jasmine. Various followers sing their odes to Jasmine, including Lorne performing "Freddie's Dead" and Angel and Connor singing a revised version of "Mandy."

The demon in the cave reveals that he is hiding out because of the "Jasmaniacs" attacking demons. The two find common ground as fugitives, but when Fred finds his stash of severed human hands, he attacks her. Fred fights back with an axe, killing him.

Fred returns to the Magic Bullet Bookstore, luring a crowd of people outside. Ted tells Fred that she's famous now and that he has been instructed not to hurt her. Jasmine arrives with Angel and Connor and rewards the shopkeeper by telling him that Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone in assassinating JFK.

Fred apologizes to Angel, raises Ted's handgun, and fires at Jasmine. The bullet goes through Jasmine and then into Angel's shoulder. Angel vamps out and attacks Fred, grabbing the gun and pointing it at her jaw. Crying, Fred tells him to look at Jasmine. Angel is shocked when he sees her decaying, maggot-infested face, and he is released from her spell.

Jasmine realizes that it was her blood that released Fred and Angel, and she tells Connor that Angel is infected. Fred shoots Jasmine repeatedly, and Connor knocks Fred unconscious. Angel fights Connor off, then flees with Fred in his arms. Connor wants to follow, but Jasmine tells him she needs his help. Rather than clean up all her blood in the bookstore, Jasmine tells Ted to burn the store down.

Back in the hotel, Jasmine returns to find her pilgrims sharing a potluck. Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne follow her into the office. Jasmine explains that they've lost Angel to Fred and proclaims that they cannot be helped. She declares that, in order to prevent further hatred, Fred and Angel must be killed on sight. She selects three people from the crowd, who follow her upstairs with Connor.

Meanwhile, Fred awakens in a darkened alley with Angel. Angel is depressed, admitting to Fred that he misses the way Jasmine made him feel, even if it was only a lie. Fred tells him that she feels the same and still cries about it. She explains that Jasmine's blood breaks the spell; she got it in her system when she washed Jasmine's shirt, and Angel was infected after he was hit by the bullet that passed through Jasmine. Angel assures her that, despite how awful they feel, she did the right thing. This makes Fred break down in tears, admitting that she's scared. She insists she is not a champion like Angel, but he comforts her and insists otherwise.

Fred decides they need to get more of Jasmine's blood so that they can break the spell for the others. Angel points out that they'll never be able to get close to Jasmine now that she knows they can see her true nature. Suddenly, they hear voices coming from the end of the alley. Fred quickly grabs Angel and begins kissing him in order to deter the approaching strangers. However, they recognize Fred and Angel, and the two run off.

Jasmine takes the people she picked from the crowd into her room and asks Connor to guard the door. She asks them to remove their clothes, then examines her wound in a mirror, magically healing herself.

Angel and Fred sneak into Cordelia's room, finding her still comatose. Angel apologizes to Cordelia, then starts to cut her arm with a knife. Cordelia suddenly grabs his wrist, causing Angel to panic. He thinks that she may be waking up, but Fred assures him that she is still in a coma. As they draw a small amount of blood from her arm, Lorne walks in on them. Angel puts a hand over his mouth and infects him with Cordelia's blood, breaking Jasmine's spell.

Jasmine comes out of her room, accompanied by a bright green light. When Connor asks her what happened to the three people she took inside, Jasmine replies that she ate them. Connor smiles in response, remarking, "cool," and follows her down the hall.

Lorne lures Wesley and Gunn upstairs, grabs a baseball bat, and knocks them out so that Fred can administer the cure. When they come to, Angel explains that Cordelia's blood worked because Jasmine used her to gain a physical body, so they share a blood link. Wesley brings Connor in, and the others hold him down in order to cut his chest and smear him with the blood. Angel tells him that it was the only way to make him see the truth. Connor nods calmly, but then throws open the door and shouts to the rest of the Jasmaniacs, alerting them to the gang's presence.

Continuity[]

  • The scene between Fred and Angel, wherein the former apologizes to the latter, indicates that it has been at least a week since "Shiny Happy People."
  • Gunn says Fred has a history of rejecting love, referring to the fallout of their relationship after the events of "Supersymmetry."
  • Angel sings with Connor the song "Mandy" adapted for Jasmine's name. Angel sung and praised it in the episode "Judgment" and a flashback in "Orpheus" showed him enjoying the song in the 1970s.
  • Jasmine's blood doesn't seem to affect Angel until he actually looks at Jasmine, like Fred in "Shiny Happy People." When Angel and Fred expose Lorne, Wesley and Gunn to Cordelia's blood, they are disillusioned without Jasmine even being in the same room.
  • Gunn mentions Angel being evil, not evil, then evil again. Angel was the worst recorded vampire for a hundred years ("Just Rewards"), became good with a soul ("Darla"), lost it in 1998 ("Innocence"), regained it months later ("Becoming, Part Two"), lost it again in 2003 ("Awakening"), and was recently re-ensouled ("Orpheus").
  • Fred understands that the contact she had with Jasmine's blood when she was trying to clean it from her blouse broke her spell ("Shiny Happy People").
  • Wesley offers to get Connor, explaining that he kidnapped Connor before, as seen in "Sleep Tight."
  • Cordelia's blood apparently doesn't work to break Jasmine's spell over Connor; in "Peace Out," it'll be revealed that Connor always saw Jasmine's decaying face.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Organizations and titles[]

Species[]

Locations[]

Objects[]

Death count[]

  • Unidentified man, burned in his car's fire (only mentioned).
  • Unnamed demon, head axed by Fred.
  • Ted, burned in his bookshop under Jasmine's orders (only mentioned).
  • Three men and four women, eaten by Jasmine (only mentioned).

Behind the scenes[]

Production[]

  • The guitarist backing up Angel and Connor's performance was Ozzy Osbourne lead guitarist and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde. According to Jeffrey Bell, Wylde and his entourage were so enthusiastically and persistently foul-mouthed that Bell felt compelled to remove all the children from the set while they were shooting the scene.[2]
  • Bell said that one of the deciding factors of choosing Patrick Fischler for the role of Ted was that Fischler knew how to say "MKUltra" correctly. "M" and "K" are pronounced as individual letters, not as "Mc."[2]
  • Bell explained that Jasmine telling Ted that Oswald acted alone was a sort of punishment for the character. He was of the opinion that one of the most devastating things for a conspiracy-theorist is to find out there is no conspiracy.[2]

Broadcast[]

  • "The Magic Bullet" had an audience of 2.6 million households upon its original airing.[3]

Pop culture references[]

  • Gunn refers to Fred escaping him and Wesley as pulling "a Houdini," the illusionist noted for his escape acts.
  • The "magic bullet" in the shop's name refers to the magic-bullet theory for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, introduced to explain how a single bullet caused seven wounds during the assassination. As part of that theory, the bullet passed through JFK's body and then traveled through John Connelly's body as well. This is the same maneuver Fred uses to shoot Jasmine and Angel with one bullet.
  • Ted says there's nothing really good on the radio since the host of a paranormal-themed radio program Art Bell retired, which happened that year.
  • Ted refers to the CIA as "MKUltra bastards," the code name of a human experimentation program the organization performed from 1953 to 1973.
  • Fred describes Jasmine's followers as "shiny happy people," the title of a 1991 song.
  • Fred quotes the 1967 gospel song "Oh Happy Day."
  • Jasmine says her description of the origins of the Powers That Be sounds like "the prologue to one of those movies about magical [hobbits]," referring to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
  • Gunn suggests Jasmine takes over the place of the television presenter Regis Philbin, who holds the record for the most hours spent on U.S. television.
  • Lorne and Connor quote the song 1964 "People" and mention its performer Barbra Streisand.
  • The demon describes Jasmine's war against demon as a "jihad," which refers to efforts to make personal and social life conform with God's guidance in Islamism.
  • Jasmine reveals to Ted that JFK's assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
  • Gunn praises Lorne's psychic abilities calling him Kreskin, the mentalist who became popular on television in the 1970s.
  • Lorne calls himself Judas Iscariot, known for his betrayal against Jesus.
  • When Lorne enters the room where Cordelia is lying, he says "Any more room at the inn?" This is another reference to the Bible (Luke 2:7).

Music[]

International titles[]

  • Czech: "Čistá krev" (Pure Blood)
  • Finnish: "Taikaluoti" (Magic Bullet)
  • French: "La balle magique" (The Magic Bullet)
  • German: "Die magische Kugel" (The Magic Bullet)
  • Hungarian: "A bűvös golyó" (The Magic Bullet)
  • Italian: "La pallottola magica" (The Magic Bullet)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "A Bala Mágica" (The Magic Bullet)
  • Russian: "Волшебная пуля" (Magic Bullet)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "La bala mágica" (The Magic Bullet)
  • Spanish (Spain): "La bala mágica" (The Magic Bullet)
  • Turkish: "Büyülü Mermi" (Magic Bullet)

Adaptations[]

Gallery[]

Promotional stills[]

Behind the scenes[]

[]

Quotes[]

Fred: "So, you don't worry that it's possible for someone to send out a biological or electronic trigger that effectively overrides your own sense of ideals and values, and replaces them with an alternative coercive agenda that reduces you to little more than a mindless meat puppet?"
Ted: "Wow. People used to think that I was paranoid. I mean, don't get me wrong. I still got the implants in my head. CIA is still listening in. It just doesn't bother me anymore."
Lorne: "I thought Our Lady of the Perpetual Sea Breeze was the real deal until the Divine Miss J walked right through that door and right into my ass — which is where my heart is, physiologically. I can show you an X-ray."
Lorne: "You know what they say about people who need people."
Connor: "They're the luckiest people in the world."
Lorne: "You been sneaking peeks at my Streisand collection again, kiddo?"
Connor: "Just kinda popped out."
Lorne: "Tonight, the role of Judas Iscariot will be played by Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan."

References[]

  1. "angel: The Magic Bullet." TheWB.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jeffrey Bell. Angel Season Four on DVD; audio commentaries for the episode "The Magic Bullet." [DVD]. 20th Century Studios, September 2004.
  3. "Nielsen Ratings for Angel's Fourth Season." Nielsen Ratings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, & Firefly. Archived from the original on July 6, 2008.
Advertisement